Alyssa Limperis rose to fame on the internet for her humorous films she produced channeling her vivacious Greek mother.
Limperis is focused on her other parent in her new special, “No Bad Days,” which debuts on Peacock on August 13. This parent is absent from her Instagram videos but influences everything Limperis does.
Her father passed away from cancer, and the comedy show “No Bad Days” is filled with melancholy.
The “healthiest person” she knew, according to Limperis, was her dad. He had a contagious spirit and had run every day for 30 years: She brought up the time he won a costume party without realizing he was meant to dress up in the comedy special.
Then, the unthinkable occurred. Early in her 20s and residing in New York, Limperis received a call in 2014 informing her that her father had been identified as having glioblastoma, a rare brain cancer with a poor prognosis.
After returning to Massachusetts, Limperis observed her father’s transformation from the companionable cyclist he had been in Vermont to one who eventually used a wheelchair. A year or so after his diagnosis, he passed away.
“My dad was the fittest person I knew. Even though I was an all-American sprinter, he could outrun me. He was remarkably healthy, fit, intelligent, and upbeat, so to witness something swiftly damage someone’s body was shocking to me, she added.
In the special, Limperis runs in circles, then walks, then hobbles to show how his condition has worsened. Since she has been performing the one-woman show for roughly six years, Limperis said the running sequence is the one that consistently causes her to cry.
“I started crying every every time I got to the jogging stretch at some point, maybe two years in. I would simply stop the show and cry, Limperis remarked.
Nevertheless, Limperis remembers how her father maintained his positive outlook throughout the procedure. Her father begged to go home and sit in the sun the day after learning there would be no more treatment for him.
“If this were me, I would be screaming, crying, angry, and bitter, was all I could think. He was simply “Onward and cheerful, taking each day as it came,” she recalled. “I recall inquiring as to his level of fear. A little, but mostly I want to spend more time with you guys, he said. So that’s what we did: We rationalized that we had more time each day.
Three months after the passing of her father, Limperis started performing. She started writing blog postings the year he passed away and continued to do so until she moved to New York. She remarked, “I had been stuck in this place where this horrific thing was happening and it was all like pouring out.”
She took a two-year break from performances before returning for the Peacock special and seeing a difference between the two renditions.
“The initial version was about how my dad’s handling of dying left me speechless. You won’t believe how politely he handled it. You won’t believe how politely he handled it. I had seen him manage death in this way, so I was so packed with optimism that first year,” she added.
This version, she claimed, “is much more about me and how his death altered me.” This time around, there was also less crying: “I had more distance. That actually made me feel like something that happened to someone else.
The comedy and humor in the special are boldly combined. For Limperis, it is a “trade.”
“We’ll have fun and I’ll make you laugh. However, I’ll be discussing this and we’ll be feeling in the interim. I enjoy straddling the line between serious and humorous, she remarked.
Limperis, however, understands how a “comedy” special could be marred by sadness. She experienced it firsthand. Limperis claimed that her family and she laughed “very” during the year her dad was dying. She and her brother would laugh at “the craziest stuff” after her parents had gone to bed.
“We had to release it. Even the darkest times call for laughter. It was a truly magical year, she recalled, “a magical, awful year.
Her goal with the presentation is to honor her father and start a discussion about the big taboo subject of loss. Limperis makes light of the fact that audiences always try to avoid hearing about her father when the concert first starts. She compels the audience to sit, pay attention, and recall their own experiences with “No Bad Days.”
“I experienced a great sense of isolation. Every time I would disclose it or discuss it with someone, they would have a similar experience. They will also bring up a loss if you mention one. The feeling of loneliness and the question, “Am I the only person in the world who is in utterly mind-numbing pain that seems alienating and scary?,” disappears if that takes place. With an audience, that’s what I want to do,” she declared.
She calls on the audience to raise their hands if they have lost people as the concert comes to a close. She cited the vista as her preferred feature. The feeling at the conclusion is that “This is not just about me or my dad, but about all of us”
She described the pain as “mind-numbing,” but six years later, Limperis claimed her father’s passing “woke her up” and set her on the path to where she is today. After her father passed away, Limperis started making the movies for which she is well known while she was living with her mother. In New York, she moved in with me. When I saw how she was acting, I thought, “This is crazy.” Make a video, shall we?
If you’re interested, her mother adores the special and has watched it so many times that she can mouth the dialogue.
Limperis’ outlook on life has also been altered by what happened to her father. The healthiest man alive was this one. There are no promises made. Simply leave and take in the day, she said.
“Whatever I’m going through in life, art helps me get over it. So, whether it’s seeing my dad pass away and having it become the subject of a play, or finding it amusing that my mom is living with her and doing that. I can’t wait to see how life makes me feel. The painting will emerge from whatever I’m experiencing, she remarked.
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